In the last two years I wrote about online directories and real estate websites in the US. For a change I decided to look at Asian sites. So, I have just published a report on the Search Visibility of Singapore Banks in 2011 and it is available for download without needing to supply your email address or your first-born.
Why Singapore? Because it is small and has a small number of banks in a small geographic area. Why banks and not pizza shops? Mainly because I have specialised in banking websites in Australia for the past year.
Summary of findings:
A set of 71 unbranded keywords was selected from the websites of several leading Singapore banks as being representative of the language used in the industry. They are not necessarily an ideal set of keywords, which in itself is a longer exercise requiring several days’ effort.
The results show that some banks are not using the sample set of keywords, or are not optimising their pages, or both.
The websites that are not optimised do not rank for some product portfolio keywords in the organic search results of Google, Yahoo or XinMSN. Such sites have a greater dependence on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns than they need to.
The keywords were checked for their ranking on the first pages of Google (Pages from Singapore), Yahoo (Singapore) and XinMSN (Singapore). Only the first 10 positions were counted as a first-page ranking, as this is the default setting for all three engines.
The social networks relevant to self-service are Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and YouTube. The last two are not a true social network, but they still serve as communication platforms by way of their comment feature. Then there is an endless list of discussion forums and newsgroups, which existed long before there was a world-wide web.
This requires some thought, because people will gladly tell their Facebook/Twitter friends about a cool night spot or restaurant, but are less likely to talk about personal finance.
Social networks send signals that are used by Google and other search engines to evaluate the importance and relevance of a website, so they should be used to one’s advantage. There are many nuances of “using social media”, but most companies do not use every available technique to benefit search engine visibility.
This study looked for signs of a strategic approach to leveraging social media, not the specific campaigns, which are tactical and typically give little thought to their effect on search engine visibility.
All the featured banks have plenty of scope to increase online usage without needing to commission costly new projects.
Detailed, keyword-level data is not included in this free report. Please contact the author if you need help with your online usage growth strategy.
To read the whole, 28-page document, you will need to download it (3 MB PDF). Click the image below to download: